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A huge cheer spread the globe in the minutes following the announcement by the federal government that they ‘no longer oppose global rules that restrict use and shipment of the substance”. The substance is asbestos and it’s crime? The deaths of more than 100, 000 people every worldwide and approx. 4, 000 people a year in the UK alone. Canada has banned the use of the mineral but continued, until recently, to mine and export the substance to countries whose regulations are more relaxed.
Following Canadian Federal Industry Minister Christian Paradis’ announcement that Canada’s lucrative 130 year asbestos mining industry would end, he then stated that “Ottawa will offer up to $50-million to help towns’ dependent on the industry diversify their economies.” The original use for the money was a loan for the refurbishment of one of two Quebec mines which halted production earlier this year due to lack of funding, public pressure, and overwhelming scientific evidence. Protesters against this loan stated that not only was the mining and export of asbestos detrimental to world health but not economically viable as only a mere 425 jobs would be saved.
In addition, the announcement means the Canadian government will no longer support the mining and exportation of chrysotile asbestos or oppose the listing chrysotile asbestos as a hazardous substance on the prior informed consent” (PIC) listing at the Rotterdam Convention. Adding chrysotile asbestos, a known human carcinogen, to the PIC list would require exporters to fill out forms listing risks and safe handling procedures, thus provide more protection for the public. This would also be one step nearer to a world wide ban.
Here at Armco we fully realise the risks of asbestos and support a world wide ban. Fortunately, asbestos was banned in the UK in 1999 but this still means that any property that was built before the year 2000 could contain asbestos and you would need to have a Management Survey implemented to identify all asbestos containing materials (ACM’s). In addition, such a survey would make recommendations as to any remedial or removal works required and then an inspection cycle for the asbestos to be managed.
If you require to carry out works or demolish a building then a Refurbishment and Demolition Survey is required, again identifying ACM’s but this type would state the type of contractor required to dispose of the material. Call the Armco office for a competitive quote on 0161 763 3727.
Published Sep 20, 2012